Renting vs. buying: Has your housing view changed?

Changing your view of the housing market? Temporarily? Forever?

The rental market is getting hotter as the for-sale market continues to struggle, AJC staffer Michelle Shaw reports. Companies that used to focus on listing sales are now paying more attention to the single-family home rental market.

At the same time, many homes are being offered by owners who either can’t sell or don’t want to at reduced prices, Shaw reports.

Has the housing mess made you a renter? Will you go back to buying when the dust clears? Or are you thinking about renting for a long time?

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26 comments Add your comment


October 20th, 2010
7:00 am

Yes. I am a proud house renter with great owners. Renting has allowed my wife and I to REALLY reduce our debt (we’re in a MUCH better financial situation than one year ago). My wife and I probably will keep renting for the foreseeable future. Especially with the way the job market is (bad to terrible).

Potential Renter

October 20th, 2010
7:47 am

I’m so for it! Does anyone have any great rental sites to share so that I can find a home?

Knot Afrade

October 20th, 2010
7:48 am

Having been a landlord since my first real estate purchase in the early 90’s (I jumped at the chance to buy when interest rates dropped below 10%), I’m looking forward to increasing rental rates for the first time in over 5 years.

Owner & Renter

October 20th, 2010
7:56 am

Own my own home and rent several others. The trouble now is find good credit worthy renters that can afford to rent a house. Many of these people who say they prefer to rent and not own honestly have no other choice, but they also can be bad renters as they were homeowners. Luckily I have long term, satisfied, qualified, good tenants in all my properties that don’t mind paying my higher prices.


October 20th, 2010
8:09 am

I wouldn’t mind renting a mobile home if we had any all adult mobile home parks around here.


October 20th, 2010
8:22 am

@Potential Renter try the website and look up rental properties.

Come on son

October 20th, 2010
8:24 am

I rented a home/apt at a lower rate so I could position myself to buy a home. I was able to buy a home during the real estate boom (used just a plain vanilla 30 year fixed) and stayed within my price range. Thank God I have never missed or been late on a mortgage payment.
What I do not understand, after reading the article in the link, is why people are paying $3500-$5000 to live in a “luxury” home for a certain zip code, etc. There is no way I am paying rent that is equal or surpasses a reasonable mortgage. If you have that much to spend on rent, downsize, rent a lower priced home (it is only temporary) and use the difference to pay off the bills needed to raise your credit. I agree, as mentioned earlier, there are many more renters simply because of the number of people who where buying have entered foreclosure or became so upside down in their homes they simply left.

This housing crisis hurts everyone, I recently went to zillow and now my home is “upside down”. Our neighborhood had held constant for a long time but we recently had just a couple of foreclosures. ONE house that is now bank held is being sold at $61K below a low-end standard offer for the neighborhood. It is $65K below the price I purchased at 5 years ago. I was talking to a neighbor and we basically said we are just going to have to stay in the neighborhood at least 3-5 years in hopes that prices recover. Yet on the flip side, their words not mine, the class of people moving in the neighborhood via rent or these low prices are not going to make other people move in if and when prices recover.


October 20th, 2010
8:47 am

Now the trend from “owning our home” to renting a home is the trend. Even people with good
credit are not interested to buy a house, because they think that the price is going to go down
further. Now the consumbers are at the winning side: they bargain for everything to get a lower
price. It used to be in Asia and other countries, but that culture has already penetrated to the
U.S. “the culture of waiting and bargaining”.


October 20th, 2010
9:00 am

I’ve always rented. Could never afford to buy. I was hoping rents where I live would go down in this economy; they haven’t budged. Someone recently told me that’s because people who would normally buy are having to rent. and now this article. It is also obvious that there are a lot of people who, even now, can afford to have houses sit empty rather than lowering rents. My dad explained that it is because they can get a business loss tax cut. So even though the economy has been depressed, and my dollar doesn’t go as far, there has been no break on either end of the renting situation.


October 20th, 2010
9:15 am

We purchased our home in 2005 and like many other buyers we wish we never did. We rented out our home and are now renters. Although we do not get the full amount of the mortgage payment each month, we are still saving money by renting. Renting works for us now because we have only one child who is going off to college next year. It allows us to save money and be more flexible if we have to move for any reason. Home ownership is not for everyone even if you can afford it because in alot of cases the benefits are not compelling enough. You have increased utilities, maintenance cost, HOA dues, interest, taxes and a further commute. Also homes have historically appreciated below inflation, something like a half percent in the last few decades. Homeowners argue that you are wasting money when you rent but the truth of the matter is that you are really wasting more buying because you pay more in interest over 30 years than the value of the home in many cases. You are “renting” money from the bank in other words. Plus most people never pay off their mortgage because of all the refinancing due to life situations along the way. I will try to sell my home if the market recovers and rent forever after.

Forced to rent

October 20th, 2010
9:15 am

Im renting now because we lost our home due to our business failing in the down economy. but that’s ok. I have a nicer and bigger home for less than what I was paying on my over mortgaged home that I lost. I had to file bankruptcy, but that has allowed me to start clean. I have no debt, Im up to 2 credit cards now that I barely use. My credit rating has gone up over 120 points since the bankruptcy was discharged 15 months ago and I have a nice down payment saved up for when we do buy a home in another year or so.

I would much rather own than rent and I’m hoping to take advantage of some of the great deals that are out there when it comes time to buy.


October 20th, 2010
9:22 am

“Yet on the flip side, their words not mine, the class of people moving in the neighborhood via rent or these low prices are not going to make other people move in if and when prices recover.”

That statement is true. Renters in general always hurt values because they have nothing really invested in the community. Everyone is paying a price right now for the real esatate debacle. Even when jobs come back, our economy will not fully recover until real estate stabilizes. There is no migration and people cannot move.

Again, even renters are paying for the real etate bust even though they may not realize it. We ALL are in deep until the RE market recovers.


October 20th, 2010
9:26 am

“I would much rather own than rent and I’m hoping to take advantage of some of the great deals that are out there when it comes time to buy.”

Forced to rent, I am glad things are working out for you. Be careful because just like the bubble and the burst, the bottom will happen and timing may not be perfect for you. I hope this has all taught us that nothing out there is erfect, few people got the timing right on any of this. Good luck to you!


October 20th, 2010
9:39 am

How is the article relevant to the everyday, hardworking person when the people featured are looking to rent a 2 million dollar home? Joel Brady is in a small percentage of people that can afford 10,000K a month or more in rent.

The landlords looking to rent only to people with stellar credit need to get over themselves & factor in WHY someone’s credit may be not be great.

Please AJC do a more realistic story.


October 20th, 2010
9:39 am

We decided to rent our house when we bought another (a great deal on a foreclosure) in what we thought was going to be a quick dip in the housing boon. 2 years later we are looking for new renters and have considered letting the house go back to the bank if we cannot find renters. It’s a said situation but we’ve owned the house for 10 years, put lots of time and money into it and it’s now worth less than the builder originally sold it for 18 years ago! We are toughing it out as long as we have someone renting & making the mortgage payment but at this point we will never recoup any of the investment we made and will likely still take a loss a couple of years from now.


October 20th, 2010
9:40 am

*sad* not said

cumberland raised

October 20th, 2010
10:02 am

I have lived in Metro Atlanta since 1989. First and second house in Gwinnett County and third house in Forsyth. After calculating maintenance fees and tax advantage I have determined that I would have been better off renting since 1989.

Metro Atlanta is the worst real estate deal in America. Simple problem has always been……..too much supply and little demand.


October 20th, 2010
10:57 am

yes, looking to rent a condo in Atlanta go to

Potential Renter

October 20th, 2010
11:48 am

Thanks for the sites to visit to search for a rental home.


October 20th, 2010
11:58 am

Very happy homeowner since I got my HAMP modification…out of a very dangerous loan situation(didn’t buy over our heads, job loss, no seconds or refi) into a 2% for the next 5 years and then locked into a 4% for the rest of the loan. The mod allowed us to stay in our home and our payment is for a house HALF the value of what we live in and we are saving money. We intend to stay in the Atlanta area for a long time…

We are now also landlords renting out a home in FL we inherited from inlaws. The choice was to sell and have little to no money in our pocket or turn a profit of $9K a year!..Perfect timing..that 9K now pays for my child to attend college in state with NO LOANS!..making sure she starts her life on the right track…..

I think renting for the next 5 years is smart for several reasons, it doesn’t tie you down, you are buffered from an already depressed housing market and there are better places to put your money now for “investment.”


October 20th, 2010
1:20 pm

Wish we would rent and get rid of our home. But my husband doesn’t feel the same way. My husband lost his job, got another job but took a big, big cut in pay. So now we have a big house pmt., have to pay for repairs, like septic tank pumped, plumbing problems and other maintenance stuff. If we rented we could just call the owner to pay for repairs and not struggle all the time. But, he want listen. Owning a home is a pain in the a$$.


October 20th, 2010
1:53 pm

“So now we have a big house pmt., have to pay for repairs, like septic tank pumped, plumbing problems and other maintenance stuff. If we rented we could just call the owner to pay for repairs and not struggle all the time. But, he want listen. Owning a home is a pain in the a$$.”

Wanda, you do realize all the costs in owning and maintaining a home are a reflection in the amount of rent you pay. Your landlord is not going to loose money, they actually do make a profit off of your rent money. I can’t believe how off base your thought process is. Geez!


October 20th, 2010
2:06 pm

Yes. I was able to do a short sale on my house earlier this year and I moved into my sister’s rental property which had been sitting empty for several months. I think wait out the recession for the next couple of years. I am content to pay rent and not have a mortgate and the responsibility of the upkeep associated with owning a home sitting over my head for now…

Lisa B.

October 20th, 2010
3:12 pm

I own my home and wouldn’t have it any other way. This is our second home and we had it built. Our first was a starter and after having another kid, this was the right decision. I honestly can’t imagine still living in that house with 4 people. I’m upside down, but not nearly as much as some. I didn’t do a 100% loan. We put money down and bought what we could afford. I’m comfortable and happy in my new home. Renting isn’t for me. I love to decorate with lots of color.


October 20th, 2010
3:56 pm


I enjoy owning as well..we also built our home…and we intend to stay in it for at least 15-20 years…so I am not really concerned about being underwater..which we are by about 20K….the HAMP mod made the decision easy..


October 20th, 2010
9:08 pm

Rent is the way to go—I’ve got a 3Br at half the cost of last year!!! Buying’s too risky–prices will go way down in the next 2-3 years with this depression.